The government has come down hard on yet another physician accused of playing a role in the nation’s opioid crisis. Seven individuals died from overdose, allegedly from medications prescribed by the accused physician. The government states the distribution of these controlled substances was outside the usual course of professional practice. The prosecution further argued that there was not a legitimate medical purpose for the prescriptions.
The government also accused the physician of seven counts of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of controlled substances. The government classifies these medications as controlled substances because they contained fentanyl, morphine, oxycodone, oxymorphone, methadone, hydrocodone, alprazolam, and zolpidem.
The prosecution also accused the physician of filing false or fraudulent claims to Medicare as part of a health care fraud scheme.
Harsh penalties: Government confiscates property and medical license
The government sought harsh penalties in this case. In the indictment, the prosecution stated it would seek to confiscate all property used or intended for the use of the offenses. If the government could not locate such property, it withheld the ability to seize other property owned by the accused to substitute for the property allegedly tied to the crimes.
The prosecution also sought the forfeiture of the accused’s medical license.
Additional criminal penalties include a minimum of ten years imprisonment and a $1,000,000 fine for the drug charges and additional penalties for the health care fraud charges.
Accused strikes a deal with the government: Prison time and forfeiture of license
Ultimately, the accused pled guilty to the charges. He agreed to serve 20 years in federal prison and forfeited his medical license.
This case is yet another example of the government’s continued attacks on those who are accused of involvement in the opioid crisis. Any physician or medical professional that finds him or herself the subject of an investigation into drug charges is wise to take the allegations seriously. Begin to build a defense to the charges by seeking legal counsel experienced in these matters.